Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Larson-Bunnell Dances Around the Issue of Storm Water Pipe Repairs

If you scroll down to my post of 4/6/19 you will see my email to Councilmember Lisa Larson-Bunnell.  I was upset that she had failed to notify her constituents of the pending potential $140 million in storm water pipes over the next 10 years.  She just glossed over the item. 

She did reply to me and also she posted that to her FB page.  What she failed to do was to post my original email in its entirety.  Of course she didn't.  Why, because obviously she wanted to hide the projected $140 million in potential repairs.

Anyway, my policy has been to publish the replies I receive.  Her reply is posted below, and following that is my reply to that.  She was appointed as a placeholder to temporarily fill an open seat.  I hope that the voters in Ward 3 have the common sense not to elect her at the special election.  I know that I would not want a council member hiding very pertinent info from me.  But then, she apparently is a proponent of the proposed new community center and maybe she is afraid that if the storm water pipe repairs came out folks might have second thought about wasting $54 million on that project.

Her reply to my original email:

Good Morning Ray,

Sorry for the delay.  I read your e-mail late last night and wanted to reflect on my post and the meeting before responding.

First, I want to thank you for reaching out.  I also want to thank you for reading my council meeting updates.  As per our previous conversations, it is important to me that I consider all constituent feedback.  As a result of your e-mail, I took the time to listen to the meeting recording this morning and  read the staff memo again.  I wanted to be sure that I did not misunderstand any of the meeting materials.

When I listened to the presentation during the Council Committee meeting, I left with the understanding that we have a long road ahead of us to deal with the corrugated metal pipe system that supports a lot of our storm water traffic.  Simply put, when storm water management comes up in future budget deliberations, this is not the place to try to cut funding.    You are correct that there are many repairs that will need to take place in the future.  These repairs will have a substantial cost.  But, just like any other infrastructure need, those costs will be divided over several budget years.  There was no indication that we will not have the funds in the long term to appropriately deal with the issue.  There was also not a request for emergency funding to address unmet needs.

Based on my previous impression from the meeting, as well as my fresh look at the materials, I stand by my original post.

Thank you again for your feedback.  I am not perfect, and I will readily admit when I have made a mistake and take steps to remedy it.

Have a great weekend.


My reply to her reply:


I agonized over the weekend on how to respond to you. 

The only answer I came up with was to be direct.  Your reply was, IMHO, a typical lawyerly Tijuana Two Step.  You said a lot, but said nothing.

Not telling the residents of the ward what the projected repair amounts is, IMHO bordering on ineptness on your part and a form of deception.  What’s the legal term?  Lying by omission?

Tonight it may be a “small” amount but the council will be voting on paying an additional $200K+ on an existing project.